A Novel Vaccine Candidate Against Fungal Infection

Mice infected with mutant fungal strain display enhanced inflammatory response and survival A.) Flow cytometric analysis of cellular infiltration in the lungs shows higher number of CD4+ T cells and monocytes for mice infected with live mutant strain. B.) Vaccinated mice (C57BL/6J and A/J) with heat killed mutant strain showed higher survival rate when challenged with wild strain (H99) of fungus.

Invention Summary:

Invasive fungal infections kill over 1.5 million people worldwide annually. Cryptococcus neoformans, for example is a human fungal pathogen that often causes lung and brain infection in immunocompromised patients, with a high fatality rate. A vaccine against infection could significantly reduce the rate of systematic fungal infections.

Rutgers scientists have identified a novel protein, deletion of which makes C. neoformans as well as several other fungal organisms hypovirulent. Infection with a mutant strain generates a robust pulmonary inflammatory response and activation of protective Th1 and Th17 CD4+ T cells in the host system. Enhanced recruitment of monocytes and CD4+T cells decreases the mortality despite comparable fungal burden in the host. The boosted immunogenicity of a mutant strain could be used as an effective vaccine for protection against challenge with the virulent form of fungal infections.

Market Applications:

  • Vaccine (whole cell, heat-killed)
  • Vaccine adjuvant to prevent and treat fungal infection


  • Highly effective
  • Very potent
  • Triggers a robust immune response

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Rutgers ID: S2016-036
Life Sciences
Shemaila Sultana
Assistant Licensing Manager
Chaoyang Xue
Amariliz Rivera